The maiden shipment of Fortescue Metals Group’s (Fortescue) new 60.1% iron content product West Pilbara Fines, has left Herb Elliott Port in Port Hedland bound for Hunan Valin Steel Co., Ltd (Hunan Valin) in China.
Fortescue will produce 5 – 10 million tonnes of West Pilbara Fines in FY19 by blending higher iron, low alumina ore from the western pits at Cloudbreak with ore from the Firetail mine. When Eliwana begins production in December 2020, production of West Pilbara Fines will ramp up to 40 million tonnes per annum.
Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said, “The production of West Pilbara Fines demonstrates the flexibility of our wholly owned, integrated mining operations and infrastructure and the agility of our processing and blending strategy.”
“For the last decade, we have delivered a range of differentiated products with a high value in use for our customers. As we look out to FY19 and beyond, West Pilbara Fines will further enhance the range of ores available, as we continue to ensure that our quality control and product consistency are maintained at the highest levels for our customers in China, Asia and Europe.”
“As a low cost supplier of seaborne iron ore into China and north Asia, Fortescue has enjoyed strong relationships with customers since our first shipment of iron ore ten years ago and it is pleasing to see Hunan Valin, a long standing and valued customer, receive the first shipment of West Pilbara Fines,” Ms Gaines said.
Chairman of Hunan Valin, Dr Cao Zhiaqiang, said: “We are very pleased to be the first steel mill customer for West Pilbara Fines. Fortescue continues to understand and respond to the market’s needs by expanding its product suite, while remaining focussed on delivering high value in use products.”
Ms Gaines thanked everyone at Fortescue who worked hard to deliver the new product on schedule, especially Company's marketing and operations teams who continue to deliver value for Company's customers and shareholders.